Thank You Scientist – Stranger Heads Prevail

New Jersey progressive brainiacs Thank You Scientist have been a name spoken of in the highest esteem around these parts since the release of their debut, full length album Maps of Non-Existent Places in 2012. That album was the sonic equivalent of the snakes in a can gag for the unsuspecting listener. Upon opening it up, you find yourself assaulted with an overwhelming abundance of sunny Coheed and Cambria-indebted melodies, cacophonous swirls of guitar riffs and horn hits, and maze-like song structures that cycle through every kind of danceable jazzy rock imaginable. It represented many of the best aspects and possibilities of prog rock as challenging and complex music that could still be catchy, accessible, and fun as hell to listen to.

Since then, the band have been hard at work building upon the successes of that album, touring with the aforementioned Coheed and Cambria and eventually being signed to Coheed vocalist Claudio Sanchez’s nascent record label Evil Ink Records (who quickly put out a remixed and remastered version of Maps). It’s been 4 years since their last original release though, and anticipation had reached fever pitch for fans looking for more. Would their follow-up sound too similar or too different from Maps? Would the band push themselves and their sound to new places or seek to plant their flag firmly in the soil already tilled? Thankfully, and rather gleefully, we’re happy to report that that follow-up, entitled Stranger Heads Prevail, completely smashes through any fear of a sophomore slump by simply doing what they’ve always done, just better.

Unmetal Monday – 7/11/16 (The Avalanches, Daymé Arocena, Pity Sex, Unconscious Disturbance)

Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a recurring column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

The Anatomy Of: Astronoid

We have (along with the rest of our niche of the community) been singing the praises of Astronoid for quite some time now. If you’ve never run into the name, imagine what would happen if you take a dream and then crash-landed it into a thrash metal concert. The guitars go fast, the drums blast away but the vocals are clean and soar high above the music. In composition as well there is a marked style, a bright, lazy, honey-slow drip that just pulls you right in. It’s like a hot, summer day when you were a child and the hours drew out in the long, dark tea time of the soul (as one Douglas Adams puts it) into a pastiche of nostalgia, fear, hope and dreams.

What goes into such a broth? How does a band like this come to be, seemingly emerging from nowhere to revolutionize what we thought was possible within the somewhat stale confines of thrash? Instead of speculating, hear it from the band themselves! We reached out just after our interview and asked the band our fateful, Anatomy Of question: what made you the musicians that you are today? More specifically, which musicians contributed to how you write, think and perform music? Below you can find styles ranging from progressive pop to Norse metal and much in between. Blast Air in the background and get ready to dive into what makes Astronoid tick.

PHOTOS: Coheed and Cambria, Glassjaw, I The Mighty, Silversnakes—March 4th, 2016 @ The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

March 4th, 2016, the world renowned Madison Square Garden held a special event in their theater. Opening the show was Silver Snakes. For an opening band, they really kicked things off with their heavy, sludgy sound. Drenched in red lights, they owned Madison Square Garden during their half-hour set. Following…

Best Of: Sophomore Albums

Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of series takes musical genres and categories and highlights our staff’s personal favorites. You can read more entries from this series here. Sophomore albums are a tricky business: sure, there are plenty of great ones but, more often that not, something in them falls flat.…